Happy New Year!!! I hope your Christmas and New Year were amazing and that you had a chance to spend some quality time with friends and family.
Here we are 12 days in to the new year and with the new year comes resolutions. Are you starting to lose your resolve? Personally I don’t make them anymore but when I did they were always pretty much the same, lose weight, eat healthy, exercise, save money etc., nothing earth shattering there. Like most people I would go full steam ahead for the first month or so then, well you know the story. Life gets in the way, you get bored, aren’t seeing the results you want and just like that it’s “New Year Resolutions, no I didn’t make any of those”.
One thing I found that I did and still do sometimes is think of things in a big picture kind of way but don’t think of the small steps and achievements that are going to get me the end goal. Exercise for example, In your mind you see yourself running a marathon or doing a full Insanity workout within the firs week, but in reality you can’t remember the last time you exercised and can only walk 2k or find yourself out of breath and struggling with the Insanity warm up. Frustration, disappointment, negative self talk sets in and you give up. Yup, I’ve been there.
Then there’s eating healthy. You’ve decided this is the year you’re going to do it and be a healthy eating machine. You stock your fridge full of fruit and veggies. Call on your friend Google to find you a bunch of healthy recipes and for awhile you’re loving those salads and healthy meals but then, you get bored of eating the same thing, realize it takes a lot more time to prepare meals, and then you get tired of cooking. So what do you do, you start throwing in the “healthy” frozen dinners, you know the ones I’m talking about Lean Cuisine, WW frozen dinners, Healthy Request… the list is endless. They say they’re healthy right on the box so it has to be true, right? Not so much.
Let’s take a look at WW English Muffin Sandwich (taken from their website)
WHOLE GRAIN ENGLISH MUFFIN (WATER, ENRICHED BLEACHED WHEAT FLOUR [WHEAT FLOUR, MALTED BARLEY FLOUR, NIACIN, REDUCED IRON, THIAMINE MONONITRATE, RIBOFLAVIN, FOLIC ACID], WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR, YEAST, DEGERMINATED YELLOW CORN FLOUR, DEGERMINATED YELLOW CORN MEAL, WHEAT GLUTEN, GLUCOSE-FRUCTOSE, MODIFIED POTATO STARCH, SOYBEAN OIL, SALT, VINEGAR, FUMARIC ACID, CALCIUM SULFATE, POTASSIUM SORBATE, AZODICARBONAMIDE, SOY LECITHIN), EGG WHITE PATTY (LIQUID EGG WHITES, CORNSTARCH, XANTHAN GUM, BETA-CAROTENE), BACON STYLE TURKEY (TURKEY, WATER, SALT, DEXTROSE, SODIUM PHOSPHATES, SODIUM ERYTHORBATE, SODIUM NITRITE, SMOKE), PROCESSED AMERICAN CHEESE (MILK, WATER, CREAM, BACTERIAL CULTURES, SODIUM PHOSPHATE, SALT, LACTIC ACID, SORBIC ACID, COLOUR, SODIUM CITRATE, MICROBIAL ENZYMES).
If I were to make this in my kitchen – Eggs, whole grain English Muffin, white old cheddar cheese, butter, salt and pepper
The frozen version isn’t real food. It contains sugar, has to have synthetic nutrients added back in because the natural forms are processed out, contains rancid inflammation promoting oils, and when was the last time you saw Fumaric Acid at the Farmers Market or on the shelf at the grocery store. Fumaric Acid occurs in nature and is present in all living things, however, the form used in our food is chemically synthesized. In order to do this a catalyst is used to transform malic acid (also produced by all living organisms )to fumaric acid. The industrial malic acid (in other words made in a lab), used in our foods is chemically produced from a petrochemical source such as benzene or butane. Now doesn’t that sound delightful.
So if your resolution was to eat healthier here are a few suggestions to get you started. Some you may already know but sometimes we just need a little reminder. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing start small so you don’t get overwhelmed.
- Have a smoothie for breakfast every day or even a couple times a week. 1 cup wild blueberries (or berry of choice) 2 cups organic baby spinach (trust me you won’t even know it’s there), 1 cup milk of choice (almond, soy, coconut, cows). You can add ground flax, almond butter, plain Greek yogurt, hemp seeds or chia seeds to give your smoothie more staying power. Experiment – but use the berries and spinach as your base and build from that. Just think you will have more servings of fruit and veggies at breakfast than most people get all day.
- Skip the breakfast sandwiches at the drive thru. Make your own healthy version at home. It’s probably takes less time than sitting in the long line up at the drive thru. All you need is a couple of eggs, whole wheat English Muffin, and some white old cheddar (skip the plastic cheese and the neon orange cheddar full of dyes/food colouring). Or make a batch of breakfast burritos (eggs, onion, peppers, baby spinach, cheese) and freeze them. All you have to do is take them out of the freezer and pop them into the microwave, or leave them wrapped in foil and heat them in the toaster oven.
- Make a large batch of oatmeal at the beginning of the week and just reheat as the week goes on. If you’re rolling your eyes at the thought of oatmeal, don’t just have plain oatmeal. Cook it in almond milk, and don’t forget about some tasty add-ins like grated apple, cinnamon, pure pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, think apple pie or pumpkin pie oats. If you chop a banana up and add it when cooking it will melt right in. Top with some blueberries or strawberries, some almonds or walnuts and a drizzle of REAL maple syrup or a sprinkle of coconut sugar.
- Switch out boxed frozen waffles or pancakes for your own. Make a big batch of healthy homemade waffles or pancakes on the weekend, freeze them on a cookie sheet then once frozen transfer them to a freezer bag and in the mornings pop them in to the toaster and voila breakfast. Try swapping out the maple syrup for some fruit spread for something different (Crofter’s is a good brand)
- Make your own granola. Here’s a link to the post I did for Cinnamon Walnut Granola. In he morning top a bowl of plain Greek yogurt with a drizzle of local raw (unpasteurized) honey and a handful of your own homemade granola.
Remember consistent small changes will eventually add up to big changes.